Category Archives: Bacillus

RASFF Alert – Bacillus cereus – Cockles


RASFF -Bacillus (91000 CFU/g) in and inadequate thermal processing of canned common cockles from Spain in Spain

RASFF Alert – Bacillus cereus – TVC – Moulds – Dried Black Fungus


RASFF-Bacillus cereus (10000 CFU/g), too high count of aerobic mesophiles (2000000 CFU/g) and high count of moulds (230000 CFU/g) in dried black fungus from China, via Germany in Austria

RASFF Alerts – Bacillus cereus – Five Grains Mix


RASFF-Bacillus cereus (1900 CFU/g) in five grains mix from Italy in Italy

Hong Kong -Bacillus cereus in Pasteurised Milk

CFS bacillus

In June 2018, the Food Surveillance Programme of the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) detected excessive Bacillus cereus at a level of 4.6 million per gram in a packed pasteurised milk collected at a local supermarket. In September, in response to a food complaint, another packed pasteurised milk was found to contain Bacillus cereus at an excessive level of 3.8 million per gram. According to the Microbiological Guidelines for Food of CFS, if a ready-to-eat food contains Bacillus cereus at a level of more than 100 000 per gram, it is considered unsatisfactory. This article discusses Bacillus cereus in milk from the perspective of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and the measures to control its growth during production and storage.


RASFF Alerts – Backdated 22/9/18 – 05/10/18 – Animal Feed – Bacillus subtilis – Vitamin B2


RASFF-unauthorised genetically modified (Bacillus subtilis) bacteria in vitamin B2 80% from the Netherlands in Belgium

Hong Kong – Packed milk drink sample found to contain excessive Bacillus cereus

CFS bacillus

Issue Date 4.9.2018
Source of Information Centre for Food Safety
Food Product Kowloon Dairy Hi-Calcium Skimmed milk drink
Product Name and Description Product name: Kowloon Dairy Hi-Calcium Skimmed milk drink

Manufacturer: The Kowloon Dairy Ltd

Volume: 236 millilitres per pack

Use-by date: August 23, 2018

Reason For Issuing Alert
  • Following up on a food complaint, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) collected the concerned sample from a supermarket in Sha Tin for testing. The test result showed that the sample contained Bacillus cereus at a level of 3.8 million per gram. Under the Microbiological Guidelines for Food, if ready-to-eat food contains Bacillus cereus at a level of more than 100 000 per gram, it is considered unsatisfactory.
Action Taken by the Centre for Food Safety
  • The CFS had informed the manufacturer and the vendor concerned of the test result. Investigation was conducted at the production plant and the supermarket concerned and follow-up samples were collected for further testing. Investigation is ongoing.
  • The CFS has also provided health education on food safety and hygiene for the staff of the production plant and the supermarket and requested them to carry out thorough cleaning and disinfection.
  • The CFS will alert the trade, continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action in order to safeguard public health and food safety.
Advice to the Trade
  • According to Section 54 of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap 132), all food available for sale in Hong Kong, locally produced or imported, should be fit for human consumption. An offender is subject to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months upon conviction.
Advice to Consumers
  • Bacillus cereus is commonly found in the environment. Unhygienic conditions in food processing and storage may give rise to its growth. Consuming food contaminated with excessive Bacillus cereus may cause gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting and diarrhoea.
Further Information The CFS press release

Research -Bacteria isolated from the bovine gelatin production line: biofilm formation and use of different sanitation procedures to eliminate the biofilms

Wiley Online


The objective of this study was to evaluate the biofilm formation by Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus licheniformis, as well to verify the efficiency of the sanitation procedures (cleaning, disinfection, and cleaning + disinfection) on the biofilm removal. Biofilms were formed after immersion of stainless steel and PVC coupons into different culture media (semi‐finished bovine gelatin, final gelatin, and hydrolyzed collagen) at 35°C for 5, 32, and 48 hr. After 32 hr of contact, all microorganisms were capable to form biofilms on the different surfaces in contact with all culture media tested. The semi‐finished gelatin and the hydrolyzed collagen provided a higher biofilm formation (counts between 3.54 and 7.87 log CFU/cm2) when compared to the final gelatin (counts between 3.05 and 6.70 log CFU/cm2). The cleaning step complemented with the disinfection with peracetic acid was the only procedure capable of removing all biofilms (counts ❤ log CFU/cm2).

Practical applications

In this study, we investigated the biofilm formation by different isolates from bovine gelatin, simulating the processing conditions of gelatin and hydrolyzed collagen. The present study showed a peculiar result since the gelatin was the culture medium that provided a lower biofilm formation, while the hydrolyzed collagen and the semi‐finished gelatin provided the best conditions for the formation of biofilms. In addition, we verified that the use of detergent or disinfectant alone was not efficient in the removal of the biofilms formed. In view of this, we suggest the requirements to prevent the formation of microbial biofilms of different bacterial species in the gelatin processing industry. In addition, we suggest measures to remove the biofilms from food processing surfaces.